Fringe Reviews


Well it’s that time of year again and the world famous Buxton Festival Fringe kicks off for three weeks of festive art, literature, comedy and more! There’s been some trepidation locally about the presence of Underground at the Fringe due to problems finding a suitable venue, which the irrepressible Tom Crawshaw guided us through with his usual charm!

Well we needn’t have worried, it was standing room only at the new venue, which harks back to those halcyon days of the Pauper’s Pit but without the washing machine rumbling away upstairs. It’s compact and gets you close to the performers, and last night’s acts all seemed to enjoy the setting too.

Our MC for the very first event in this year’s Fringe was the one and only Rob Rouse (and he’ll be back with his own shows later in the Fringe), who guided the audience through a range of acts you can come and see in the coming weeks. He was on good form and kept the show on track as a good MC should. Can’t wait for Late Night Dirty Scrabble on the 15th – possibly the funniest show on this side of the planet!

Among the other acts we saw were David Hoskin who brings his mime show HǾLÌDÅŸ to the Fringe and is on tonight (3rd July) and the same venue. It certainly looks like a show worth starting your Fringe with – so get your tickets asap! There’s even more of an international feel about this year’s Fringe with Hard Times production company from Canada bringing, and I quote, an 'autobiographical mélange of theatrical monologue, storytelling, and spoken word'. Not dull I can assure you! Last night’s audience loved the excerpt we were treated to. Humorous and illuminating stories from a life lived on the edge. Interestingly it is a tale in two parts told over four shows, but each is a stand-alone event and is on at the Green Man Gallery on the 3/4/5/6 July.

If you love music and improv then you’ll want to see The Totally Improvised Musical which will be on at this venue on Saturday (6th) afternoon. Topical, funny and audience engaging the team from CSzUK will have your tunes on tap.

If theatre is more your thing, then try A Slight Ache performed by the Ava Hunt Theatre Company at Buxton Community School Drama Studio on the 5th 12th & 18th July. This Pinter play is an exploration of self and insecurity and is played here by an award-winning company of players who certainly got our attention last night.

All in all everyone had a good time at the party, which is after all what we wanted. We’re certainly going to see more of the shows we saw last night and can give the new venue a big thumb’s up!

In case you didn’t know, the venue doesn’t have a bar, but has an agreement with the Sacro Lounge – buy your drinks (and tickets) there in a plastic glass and walk on over. Easy.

Ian Parker Heath